Despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) and its partners managed to not only stage the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show but entice more than 30,000 attendees from around Australia to Australia’s premier on-road transport business and networking event.
HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking attributes the achievement – at a time when events were being cancelled all around the country – to the “indomitable spirit and commitment of HVIA’s members, the Brisbane Truck Show exhibitors, and our stakeholders and sponsors who were resolute in supporting the event.”
More than half a century since the first show was held at Haulmark Trailers’ yard in Rocklea in 1968, the 2021 show attracted some 266 exhibitors showcasing the latest trucks, trailers, technologies and components on offer – including first reveals such as the Kenworth Legend SAR, Muscat Trailers’ quad with semi-live floor, and Maha Australia’s RGA-UC wireless column lift.
What’s more, the show also maintained its strategy to expand beyond the walls of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) to engage the broader community and share some of the industry’s inspiring stories of innovation, collaboration and resilience with the general public.
Building on 2019, the 2021 showcase included a raft of activations and parallel events at the South Bank Truck Festival and across the city.
It enabled the industry Jobs Hub and National Apprentice Challenge to take up a new home at South Bank Piazza, where the community was able to see for themselves the diverse range of rewarding career paths on offer.
Following the success of its first foray into the adjacent South Bank Parklands in 2019, the South Bank precinct became a fully-fledged festival in 2021.
Streets in the dining and entertainment precinct of Little Stanley Street and Stanley Street Plaza were closed to traffic to showcase innovative trucks and trailers. And with the support of the precinct’s business community, a hub called the South Bank Truck Festival was created featuring an abundance of activities and entertainment, including live concerts, a laser light display, open-air cinema and even a successful Guinness World Record attempt.
While punters only saw the world-class end product, behind the scenes a massive logistical effort went into delivering the show – the largest such event held in the Southern Hemisphere.
With close to 270 exhibitors occupying all three levels of the BCEC, it is the largest event staged at the venue, bar none.
Led by Brisbane Truck Show Manager Noelene Bradley, the herculean bump-in task kicked off the weekend before the show, with the initial focus on the trucks and trailers occupying the main halls on the ground level.
More than 1,100 vehicles entered the loading docks down a single road access point in the days leading up to the opening. Some stands required up to five trailer loads each!
Over one-third of the trucks carrying freight were semi-trailers requiring an average of 60-120 minutes to unload and reload – a massive undertaking handled by Agility Logistics, which was responsible for managing the freight forwarding, dock marshalls, road-runners and 10 site managers who were contracted from three different states for 1,300 hours day and night.
To handle the large truck movements, around 1,000 metres of truck staging on outside roads was controlled by traffic marshals and special police. An additional 16 trailers were utilised for offsite storage.
Once unloaded, the real work began. Approximately 45 forklifts, 12 elevated platforms, six boom lifts, more than 1.5 kilometres of rigging and some 12,000 carpet tiles were employed to get everything into place – with the help of 3,000 contractors.
Come Sunday, the show’s final day, the mammoth bump out began. Amazingly, before midnight the vast majority of the trucks, trailers and ancillary components were gone.
Notably, the show’s impact extends well beyond the BCEC, with its economic impact established at $72 million. Brisbane Marketing reports the event generated over 70,000 room night bookings for the city’s hotels and apartments.
Less than two years later, it is time to do it all again. Bring on BTS23!